Lakers Coach Sends Clear Warning To Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers face a tough set of circumstances ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season. They’ve tried to find a solution to their Russell Westbrook problem, but their efforts haven’t panned out.

Until the Lakers are willing to part with future draft capital to dump Westbrook’s contract, it appears highly likely that he will be under contract with the team to begin next season. Will that be a problem given all that’s transpired between both sides?

During an appearance on Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s All The Smoke podcast, Lakers coach Darvin Ham made a comment that stood out in particular. When describing what to expect from his team this season, he made clear they “don’t want anybody that’s second-guessing being a Laker.”

“Competing at a high level. We’re going to be together. The most together team always does well, always wins at the end of the day. And accountability. We’re going to be tough. We’re going to be defensive-minded. That’s the side of the ball where you’re going to see the quickest and most drastic improvement and we’re going to share offensively. 

“Again, we want everybody all in on what we’re doing. We don’t want anybody that’s second-guessing being a Laker or ‘Am I in the right place?’ or this, that and the third.”

If the Lakers can manage to get Westbrook to buy in to being a role player who competes and stays attentive on defense, plays well without the basketball, and is efficient, it would be a first in his 14-year NBA career. Ham would also deserve Coach of the Year honors for a decade.

It’s challenging to envision the Los Angeles Lakers being successful if they have Russell Westbrook under contract for the $47.1 million he’s owed for 2022-23. There just isn’t enough depth surrounding LeBron James and Anthony Davis in addition to Westbrook being a net-negative.

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About Jake Rogers 300 Articles
Jake Rogers is a sports writer who attended Arizona State University and currently serves as a contributor for NBA Analysis Network.